Aranmula Vallamkali is the popular the water carnival of Aranmula that takes place during Onam and owes its origin to the Sree Parthasarathy Temple, which is located on the banks of River Pambar. This festival is, associated with the yearly temple festival that is organized in the last two days of Onam. The festival that is a major crowd puller for tourists, is organized not only for the prize but to commemorate the Sri Krishna idol installation anniversary, the chief deity of the Aranmula Parthasarathy temple.
According to the legend, a Brahmin vowed to offer all necessary things for the grand feast on the day of Thiruvonam, at the Aranmula Parthasarathy Temple. This small boat, Thiruvona Thoni carrying offerings for Lord Krishna was looted by pirates. The Lord came in the dream of one his devotees who was extremely unhappy with this event and advised him to erect boats that are huge and can be rowed by a large number of men and thus they will be quite swift. This will save them from the pirate boats. The first snake boat that came-up was Chundan.
Also known as Kerala Boat Race, Aranmula Boat Race, is a colorful occasion at the Kerala backwaters. Extremely popular, it is receiving visitors from all around the state. The spectators enjoy the great water carnival along with the snake boat race which is held during the harvest festival. One of Kerala’s main Undoubtedly, it is Kerala's most important celebration and the famed Aranmula snake boats – Palliyodams are a part of age-old temple rituals. The above stated legend is the base of all the snake boat races and the boat festival. Built by professional boat builders, these boats are owned by proud villagers who take care of them. At the time of the event, the boats are decorated with silk and gold umbrellas. The boats rowed by 100s of men on the rhythmic movements looks simply amazing. In the morning, prayers are offered to the Lord and the race starts in the afternoon.
Time of celebration: During Onam in the month of September every year
Venue: River Pamba, Aranmula in Pathanamthitta district, Kerala